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Both Athens and Sparta

Riverside Military Academy is like both Athens and Sparta:  Athens, the ancient city of great thinkers, writers, and artists, and Sparta, the city known for its physical prowess and military skills.  Take for example the activities available to RMA cadets this upcoming weekend.

On the Athenian side, there is the state robotics competition, the one-act play competition, and the performance of our fall play.  We recently acquired another new piano giving us about a half dozen pianos on the campus for cadet use.  On the Spartan side, there is the Raider state championship, a 5K race starting and ending on the campus, and a mix of fall and winter sports activities.

RMA cadets have the chance to excel in the Athenian and Spartan spheres, thus making them very well-rounded young men.

--Colonel Gallagher


Example Weekend Activities

Dear Parents,

Here are the activities available to cadets remaining on campus the weekend of 8-10 September.  This is a typical example of the types of activities we offer - - mostly optional - - on weekends at RMA.

Community outreach and volunteerism:
-Race support for a 5/10K race in Dahlonega, Georgia
-Volunteering to help with the Hall County Humane Society
-Spectators and support for the regional dragon boat races at the Olympic Rowing venue

-Home football game with tailgate for parents and "march on" parade by the Corps of Cadets
-JROTC Raiders competition
-Dragon boat race: cadets will compete as rowers at the olympic venue
-Cross Country practice
-Intramural 5 on 5 basketball tournament on campus
-Use of RMA athletic facilities for work outs or sports

Community activity:
-"Snake Days" festival at Elachee Nature Science Center in Gainesville
-"Young Eagles" aviation orientation:  cadets ride in aircraft flown by experienced pilots as part of a program to attract students to aviation and aerospace engineering programs (with parental approval).

Religious support:
-Non denominational Protestant service on campus
-Transport to local religious services for those of other faiths

-Homework, study, and preparation for the week ahead

Occasionally, a parent will tell me his/her son has said "there is nothing to do on weekends".  Don't be fooled by that.

Colonel Gallagher

Shelter for those RMA parents and alumni displaced by Hurricane Irma

Given the forecast for Hurricane Irma, we are making temporary accommodations available on the Riverside campus to families of current cadets and Riverside alumni who are displaced by the storm.  If you anticipate needing our assistance with campus accommodations, please contact the Academy Sergeant Major, Sergeant Major Jorge Sosa, at jsosa@riversidemilitary.com.

The RMA campus is a safe haven during severe storms.  We have a tornado shelter, our facilities are brick, we have back up power generation and food supplies, and the campus is 1500 feet above sea level.




Faculty Member Award Announced

Riverside Military Academy is pleased to announce that Mr. Michael Rossi, Assistant Director of Bands, has received the Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction award presented by The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS).  Mr. Rossi was nominated for this award by one of his Cadets who is a member of NSHSS.  The NSHSS was formed by the family that established the Nobel Prizes to recognize superior commitment to excellence at the high school level.  Riverside Military Academy is fortunate to have both Cadets and faculty members who are members of this prestigious honor society and who have been recognized for their excellence in scholarship.

Please join me in congratulating Mr. Rossi.

Colonel Gallagher

RMA Football: A New Era Begins

Dear Parents,

Riverside Military Academy is very pleased to welcome Head Football Coach Nick Garrett to the program.  After an extensive, nation-wide search last spring, we were fortunate to find Coach Garrett where he was the Head Football Coach at Santa Clara High School in Oxnard, California.  Coach Garrett brings to Riverside all the qualities of the very finest head coaches:  extensive expertise in football and in coaching football; a tremendous success record and ability to inspire individual players; rock-solid integrity; and complete buy-in to the Riverside culture, traditions, and values.  Coach Garrett is no-nonsense, direct, candid, disciplined, and focused on winning.  He will be a superb role model for all at Riverside.

If your son has ever considered going out for football, this is the year to do that.  It is not too late to register for football camp that starts on 1 August.  The game of football teaches teamwork, dedication, character, and the importance of hard work better than almost any other activity a teen age boy can do.

If you are interested, please contact Coach Garrett at this email:  ngarrett@riversidemilitary.com 

Colonel Gallagher


The Solar Eclipse on 21 August

Dear Parents,

As you may know, the Riverside campus is in the zone impacted by the solar eclipse on 21 August.  I want to inform you that we will be protecting your son from the harmful rays as well as educating him about the eclipse and how rare it is.

With parental approval, a small group of cadets enrolled in advanced sciences courses will be offered the chance to travel to the optimum viewing point further north.  Supervising this group will be a few senior faculty members and they will have all required protective glasses.

All other cadets will remain indoors and on campus between 1pm to 4pm on 21 August.  They will get a presentation from physics teacher, Mr. Joe Zoller, about the eclipse, then will watch a large screen image of NASA live-streaming the actual eclipse.  There will be no outdoor activities for them during the period noted above.

If you have questions or comments about these activities, please contact Dean Green at jgreen@riversidemilitary.com.

Colonel Gallagher

Riverside's Education Model

Good morning, all,

A few thoughts about the approach to education we use at Riverside - -

The education model we employ at Riverside takes into account current theories of adolescent development that place importance on the environment and on the presence of positive role models in developing behaviors, attitudes, and values in teenagers.  Immersion in a program where both the environment and the type of role models reflect parental preferences is the ideal combination to achieve desired educational results.  This process is a gradual attainment of inculcated values which takes time, meaning several semesters to reap maximum benefit.

Riverside is best not viewed as a “hospital” model where cadets attend to fix discreet issues and then immediately return to the local high school.  Instead, Riverside’s model emphasizes immersion over time to solidify a foundation in the young adult of integrity, hard work, leadership, and physical fitness that will enable success in college.

The 119 Riverside graduates on May 13 amassed a collective total of $6.7 million dollars in college scholarship money.  The investment those parents made in their son’s Riverside education certainly paid them back tenfold.

Colonel Gallagher

Commencement 2017

Superb Commencement Exercises for Riverside Military Academy on May 12th through 13th.

  • 120 graduates
  • $6.7M in total scholarship money
  • Numerous ROTC scholarships, Service Academy appointments, and military enlistments

We wish our newest RMA Alumni all the best as they begin the next chapter.  And we thank the families of our graduates for all their support.


Thank you to Nurses and Health Care Staff

In her after-action-review of her experiences in the Crimean War entitled, “Notes on Matters Affecting the Health, Efficiency and Hospital Administration of the British Army” (https://archive.org/stream/b20387118#page/106/mode/2up), Nurse Florence Nightingale argued for a standard of total patient care that changed the course for her profession in the modern world that continues today.  This week we honor all nurses, and in particular, our nurses and administrative staff in the RMA Infirmary for their tireless and compassionate work in caring for our community.  In the finest Nightingale tradition, our staff performs their duties with the perfect blend of care and efficiency, and we very much appreciate that.


Information Technology Improvment Plans at RMA

Friends of RMA:

As we approach closing out this academic year, and my first with RMA, I want to thank our Parents for the confidence they have placed in our staff and faculty for the education of their sons.  We take the responsibility seriously, and we continuously strive to sustain the best parts of RMA and improve areas where needed.

Over the past month RMA has achieved some noteworthy accomplishments:  1) we were reaccredited by the Southern Association of Independent Schools with a glowing report; 2) the senior class topped $6M in collective scholarship money; 3) RMA reached an historic high in the modern era for enrollment; and 4) our bonds were upgraded to investment grade by the Fitch Bond Rating Agency.  These quantifiable indicators of success portend a strong future for this school.

Our top priority is the improvement of our IT infrastructure, which includes hardware and software upgrades, WiFi improvement, classroom technology, and curriculum enhancements.  Completion of this program will absolutely enhance the learning experience for every cadet in and out of the classroom.  The total price tag for this initiative is approximately $380,000.   To date, we have contributions and pledges amounting to $86,000.  Our operating budget is not sufficient to cover these costs, thus I must turn to the generosity of donors.  I am reaching out to stakeholders and friends of RMA for support including alumni, board members, and parents.

Please consider a gift in support of the IT initiative.  It is an important cause that will create immediate benefits to faculty and cadets as they teach and learn.  If you would like to discuss details of the project, I would be happy to do so with you.

You may conveniently donate by giving online or by mailing your check payable to Riverside at RMA, 2001 Riverside Drive, Gainesville, Ga  30501, attn: Advancement.   All gifts are tax deductible.

Respectfully yours,

COL William J. Gallagher



Riverside Military Academy has set an enrollment record for the modern era of the school with 543 Cadets assigned.  We remain committed to the small classes, quality programs, and individualized attention that have been hallmarks of the school.  The record enrollment indicates that RMA is riding a wave of popularity among discerning parents who want the very best education possible for middle school and high school boys.  With a rigorous college prep curriculum, more activities and sports offered than any other middle school or high school in Hall County, and the leadership opportunities of a military model, RMA is well established as a superb launchpad to college and beyond for its graduates.  

Announcement of the 2017 Commencement Speaker

The President of Riverside Military Academy is pleased to announce the 2017 Commencement Speaker is General (Ret) George W. Casey.  General Casey is the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the United Services Organization, the USO.  Previously, he served as the 36th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army from April 10, 2007 to April 11, 2011. Prior to that, he served as Commanding General, Multi-National Force – Iraq from June 2004 to February 8, 2007.  General Casey is widely credited for visionary leadership as a Commanding General in 32 months of continuous combat as well as an exceptional service chief for the 1.1 million Soldiers in the U.S.  Army.


Priorities for the remainder of the school year

Dear Friends of RMA,

Between now and mid June, here are our top priorities for the Academy:

1)  Plan and execute a fantastic, memorable, and safe RMA Champions and Heroes Car event on the weekend of June 2, 3, and 4.  See this link for information and to order tickets:
We need adult volunteers to help on the days of the event.  If interested, please contact Dr. Britt Daniel (bdaniel@riversidemilitary.com).  Thank you for your support for this event designed to introduce RMA to many people who may be unfamiliar with the Academy.  Proceeds go to the RMA Foundation and General Scholarship Fund.

2)  Close out the academic year safely and successfully for all Cadets; complete the college admissions process for all seniors; and set the stage for the return of underclassmen to summer camp, football, camp, Raider camp, and/or leadership camp.  (PARENTS NOTE:  TUITION IS EXPECTED TO INCREASE BY 4% FOR ACADEMIC YEAR 17-18.  IF YOU HAVE A RETURNING CADET AND YOU COMMIT TO ENROLL HIM FOR NEXT YEAR BY MAY 1, 2017, YOU WILL BE EXEMPT FROM NEXT YEAR'S TUITION INCRREASE.)

3)  Plan the IT infrastructure upgrades for fall 2017.

4)  Successfully complete the Academy's reaccreditation process.

Thank you for all your support of our priorities.  I will keep you apprised of our progress.

Colonel Gallagher

Arrival of New Cadets

Yesterday, we welcomed a group of 63 new cadets to campus, which is the largest single day enrollment for the second semester in the school's history.  These great young men are set to benefit from the Riverside education, as thousands have before them.  They will mature in intelligence and strength, while developing their leadership ability in an environment characterized by achievement, success, and integrity.  We, on the staff and faculty, are excited with the opportunity to enable their self confidence and abilities in pursuit of acceptances to the colleges of their choice, which is our fundamental mission.

I interpret our high enrollment and wave of popularity among parents seeking a superb education for their sons as a testament to the importance of our programs in bringing out the best in adolescent boys.  A few data points as evidence:

-Over 40 different colleges and universities have made offers of acceptance to this year's seniors, with many more to come

-The senior class collectively has topped the 1 million dollar mark in college scholarships to date, with much more to come

-Our data strongly indicate the longer a cadet is enrolled at Riverside, the higher his SAT score will be and the greater will be college scholarship money awarded him

One parent summed up well yesterday his decision to enroll his son when he stated that the financial investment in Riverside today will reap invaluable benefits in college and beyond.


Colonel Gallagher

Champions & Heroes

Dear friends of Riverside Military Academy,

If you enjoy motor sports, collector cars, classic cars, military equipment and the excitement of racing, then on June 2, 3, and 4, 2017, Riverside Military Academy will host the Festival of Campions and Heroes, which will bring time-trial racing, static displays, and demonstrations to its campus for three days of fun and entertainment for car enthusiasts of all ages.  With the school year completed and students gone for summer vacation, we will turn the campus into the ideal venue for these events.  There will be on-campus roads designated for time-trial racing against the clock by classic car hobbyists who travel the country to enter such competitions.  We will have displays of rare automobiles and fun activities for the whole family.

Proceeds from this festival will benefit Riverside Military Academy cadets and their academic, athletic, leadership development, and extra-curricular programs.

Event web site:  http://rmachampionsandheroes.com/

To order tickets:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/riverside-military-academy-champions-and-heroes-tickets-26564137049

Mark your calendar and join us for a wonderful weekend of fun events!

COL Gallagher


RMA Football - - A Great Victory

I want to compliment all those involved with the football game Friday night, September 2nd, at Riverside against Providence Academy.  Here is what I saw:

  • Players:  Both teams played with guts, determination, spirit, and a clear will to win.  Both represented their schools with great distinction.  The score favored Riverside but Providence certainly brought credit to themselves and their program with how tough they played.  There were many season highlight moments that evening for both teams.
  • Cheerleaders:  Enthusiastic, spirited, rehearsed, and key to keeping the crowd fired up.  They did a great job.
  • The Corps of Cadets:  Under the direction of the Cadet Chain of Command and TACs, the Corps spirit and motivation were superb.  It was a disciplined march on and cordon.  Uniforms and military courtesy remained good, except I am aware of some unacceptable language in the stands which I will not tolerate and will address this coming week.  We will fix that.  Otherwise, superb performance.
  • Fans, Parents, staff, faculty, and supporters of Riverside and Providence:  Thank you very much for your attendance and tremendous, enthusiastic support of your team.  The noise and cheering made a huge difference.
  • Coaches:  Thank you for your leadership on and off the field.  The pre-game activities, National Anthem, team discipline, and sideline management were exceptional. 
  • Support staff, ticket sellers, announcers and statisticians, refreshment booth operators:  thank you for your professional and dedicated service.

All-in-all, it was a great evening for all present as it reflected the best of the terrific young people of Riverside and Providence.

COL Gallagher


What makes a leader?

What makes a leader?

If you want to read a book on leadership, go to a mega site like Amazon, and you’ll find over 300,000 works to choose from.  It’s quite daunting.  There are practical approaches, theoretical approaches, self-help, and how-to books.  Reading about leadership is one way to learn about it.

Another way is to watch leaders.  My views on what makes a leader were formed many years ago by observing those around me who were very good at inspiring groups to levels of performance that exceeded expectations.  Since my professional background has been military, the influential leaders who served as role models for me early in my career were sergeants and junior officers.  I learned much from the best of them on how to set the bar high for a group and how to encourage the best performance from each individual.  I’ve concluded that good leaders do two things very well:

1) They lead by example. This means they know their jobs and they are technically proficient in their duties.  They work hard and do not shirk rolling up their sleeves to get the tough things done.  They also lead by example in the morality and ethics of their lives.  They demonstrate character and integrity in all they do.

2) They take care of the people they lead.  This means setting high standards while training and developing their people to perform to those standards.  It means acknowledging good work while correcting and counseling as necessary.  Taking care of people is to demand great things from them, while resourcing and supporting them properly to meet the expectations.

There are two books that illustrate leading by example and caring for your people:

The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara is the true story of Colonel Joshua Chamberlain, Commander of the 20th Maine Regiment at the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 and how he was the epitome of leading by example.

Once an Eagle by Anton Myrer is the fictional story of a superb leader who puts duty, honor, and the welfare of his people above his own interests.  Sam Damon, the lead character, personifies caring for subordinates.

At Riverside Military Academy, we develop young leaders to lead by example and to care for their subordinates.


2001 Riverside Drive    Gainesville, Georgia 30501    1.800.462.2338

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